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Looking for private health insurance can feel a little overwhelming when you're first getting started. However, with our helpful guides and friendly professionals, you will be on your way to obtaining the right private health insurance for you and your family.

Holding some type of insurance is extremely important, but there are many reasons that insurance may lapse. If you are not insured or you're planning on switching your current health insurance to a private plan, there is different information you need depending on your situation. There are many reasons as to why you may be looking for private insurance including the following:

  • Your old plan has lapsed, or the premium has grown too high.
  • You've recently changed jobs and are no longer covered by an employer plan.
  • You've experienced a recent medical crisis and want to make sure you're covered for the future.
  • You have just become pregnant, or plan to become pregnant soon.
  • You are a new parent interested in obtaining private health insurance for your child.

Lapsed Plan

If your old insurance plan has lapsed, or the premium has grown too high, you may be searching for a better option. There's a variety of different health care options available to the consumer and the needs of the individual is usually the deciding factor on which one to go with. If your premium is now out of your budget, you can request quotes from other companies and even call the insurance company to find the plan that's right for you. More on quotes later.

Loss of Employer Health Insurance Plan

This economy has been tough on everyone and layoffs or restructuring within a company has become common practice. Because of that, individuals and families are increasingly finding themselves joining the forty-six million Americans with poor coverage health insurance, or no insurance at all. However, just because you're between jobs doesn't mean you or your family can afford to be between insurance plans. Searching the private sector for a plan that's right for you, or for your family, is a feasible short-term solution that could turn into a long-term lifestyle choice.

Preexisting Condition

Possibly you're looking at getting a private health insurance plan because some or all of the above has befallen you, and to top it off, an unforeseen medical crisis struck. It could be a developing case of diabetes, or a gallbladder procedure that had to be performed immediately. Either way, you're now in a situation where you have a preexisting condition and need to find some way of getting coverage so you don't face the same hardships in the future. Finding a plan that covers a preexisting condition is no walk in the park, but it can be done. Some states do not allow insurance companies to discriminate against people with preexisting conditions. New York and Massachusetts, for instance, have a no tolerance policy on discrimination, and no person seeking health insurance can be turned down based on a preexisting condition.

Pregnancy

If you've recently become pregnant, or are planning to become pregnant, health insurance is an absolute must for you and your unborn child. Medical bills will become astronomical in a very short amount of time as having a child is one of the most rewarding, but expensive experiences we can have. The private sector is a great place for pregnant women to investigate keeping themselves, and their unborn child, covered.

Children's Coverage

If you're the parent of a child who is not insured, and perhaps have already looked at government insurance options and found that you do not qualify, or are simply looking for a higher level of care, private health insurance may be the best bet for your child's health and well being. Remember, it's imperative that you not put off the search for your child's health care. Doctor visits are required for an infant, and they will continually pile up even if your child is fortunate enough not to develop any serious illnesses. If your child were to become ill it may count as a pre-existing condition and make acquiring health insurance more problematic.

Beginning the Search for the Right Insurance

Before you get into the complex issues, you must first shop around for health insurance. The best way to do this is by looking for a number of private health insurance companies that meet your requirements. There are three specific types of health insurance plans - HMO, POS, and PPO.

HMO - Health Maintenance Organization

HMO stands for Health Maintenance Organizations and is probably the term the average consumer has heard thrown around the most in the health insurance game. HMO members pay a monthly premium and in exchange the HMO provides care for a family or individual including doctors' visits, emergency care, surgery, hospital stays, lab tests, and x-rays. Traditionally, HMOs require a co-payment for doctor's visits, ranging from $5 to $40 depending on the nature of the visit. The total cost of your medical care is likely to be lower with an HMO than any other type of plan.

Because HMOs provide full care for your medical needs, it behooves them to make sure you get preventive care so you do not become seriously ill. Many HMO plans will cover maintenance exams such as mammograms, well-baby checkups, and regular physicals. Range of coverage does vary from plan to plan, however, so you need to thoroughly research your needs and compare with the plans in your price range.

Nearly all HMOs either assign or allow you to choose one primary care doctor. This doctor then sees you whenever you require care and refers you to other specialists as needed. It is unlikely that you would be authorized to see a specialist without having first seen your primary physician and some people can find this limiting.

For those who decide an HMO plan is not right for them, there is a POS plan.

POS - Point of Service

POS stands for Point-of-Service and is similar to the HMO in almost all features, but allows for more freedom for referrals, both from their primary care physician, and their own judgment. A coinsurance fee is likely still required if you used a provider outside your POS plan.

PPO - Preferred Provider Organizations

PPO stands for Preferred Provider Organizations and is the last, and most user-friendly, type of insurance. Like an HMO, you still have to choose from a pre-approved list of doctors and hospitals, but unlike the HMO you are not required to use a primary physician for all other referrals. When you visit one of your providing doctors most of your medical bills taken care of by your plan.

Also like the HMO, you will show your insurance card at the front office of your doctor and should not have to fill out any forms. There is customarily co-pay in the same range as the HMO for each visit. Some services not covered by your plan may require a deductible or coinsurance.

Like the POS, the PPO allows you to use doctors who are not part of your approved network of physicians and still receive some coverage. You will be made to pay a larger chunk of your medical bill as well as fill out claims forms, but some people prefer the room to choose. It is also desirable to be able to keep your current doctor even if that doctor is not a part of your insurance plan's network.

Now, you know what kinds of plans are out there. It is now up to the consumer to decide which plan best fits their or their family's lives and then go about getting the best quote for their lifestyle. Visit the websites of any and all private health insurance providers you're interested in - nearly every one of them should have a 'free quote' offer that will either provide you with a dollar amount via email or telephone after filling out a brief application.

By simply typing in your age, zip code, and what type of health you're currently in, you will be able to get an idea how much health insurance is going to cost you. Your premium may range from $100 to $1000 per month, and that's not including family plans. Once you've browsed through a few quotes, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed, but this is one of the most important decisions you'll ever make, and it is imperative that you weigh your options carefully. Consult friends and family about your quotes if you don't understand them and above all else, take the time and effort such an important decision requires. It's always not easy, but insuring your health and well-being is worth it.

To make finding the health care plan that is right for you easier, consult a friendly, knowledgeable professional. They will be there to explain the plans so they make sense and answer any of your questions. Simple fill out the basic form and helpful insurance agents will contact you with plans that will fit your needs at a price you can afford. If you live in the UK and need affordable private health insurance cover visit privatemedicalinsurance.co.uk